Quayle’s Brewery: A
#SmallBusinessWeek #SBW2020 #OroMedonteStrong
To celebrate Small Business Week, we are featuring
innovative small businesses located in Oro-Medonte. This year, we recognize
entrepreneurial resilience and adaptation in the wake of the COVID19 crisis.
most celebrated new farm brewery is a case study in determination and problem
solving. Built on a stunning 87 acre property located on Line 12, the craft
brewery and hops farm has become a popular go-to place for locals and tourists
since first opening in May. It features a tasty seasonal menu and fourteen
taps, a large outdoor patio, tasting room and acoustic lounge.
road to early success was not a smooth one. Though the plans to build and open
the brewery had been underway since 2016, trouble began to brew when the Covid
crisis hit in March.
Owner Catherine Pearson explains: “We were scheduled
to open right when Covid hit. But we were determined to not let it slow us
down. To keep everyone safe we had to change the way our guests purchase beer
and food while visiting us. Fortunately, we purchased a canning line in 2018 so
we pivoted and launched our e-commerce website first. We started to sell our
delicious craft beer through contactless curbside pick-up only. On opening day
in May, we were sold out.”
From the Ground Up
In early summer, Quayle’s established an extended,
socially distanced patio and then reconfigured their indoor space to ensure the
safety of guests and staff. They implemented additional safety protocols
including installing plexiglass, asking guests to enter the tap room to place
their orders, and providing staff with extra safety training.
They continued to adapt their business operations as
the Covid situation and consumer needs evolved. For example, when Pearson and
her business partner Graydon Lau noticed that early guests were curious to
learn more about the hops and the brewing process, they responded by offering
informative hour-long Hops Harvest Tours. The small group tours then sold out
on most weekends.
Forging the Path Forward
Strong support from the Oro-Medonte community provided
the brewery’s hard-working operators with the motivation to keep building their
business. “Our tables were full all summer,” says Pearson. “Our place gave
people a safe place to gather while at the same time enjoy some delicious food
and craft beer.”
Currently, the brewery is open on Fridays, Saturdays
and Sundays only. As the weather gets cooler and the COVID crisis evolves,
Quayle’s must continue to adapt their offerings to safely attract and satisfy
guests. This winter, the brewery plans to add a skating rink and fire pit for
people to come out and enjoy the fresh air. Come springtime, brewery operators
plan to establish a sizable new garden with added outdoor space to better host
gatherings like weddings, birthday parties or corporate events that had
previously been deferred.
According to Pearson, Quayle’s Brewery strives to
become a year round gathering place that is renowned for its craft beer and
overall experience. “We want to share our great space with our community,” she
says. “We are truly grateful for everyone’s support.”
For more information about Quayle’s Brewery visit quaylesbrewery.ca.